Heals? I’d rather heal yo momma!

I always like a good rant, especially when they’re not my own, and Regis’ over at Wizards and Wenches is rather fun… and has a picture of Hugh Lawrie, which is instant-win for me. Add in Sean Connery and I’d have been drooling too much to read.

Rant aside, one thing stuck with me from the end of Regis’ post. It’s something most of us already know but don’t practice nearly enough, partly because MMO culture is a smart-ass, smart-aleck, sarcasm > kindness culture. The truth, however, remains: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

General, randomly-generated negative comments like “Y duz order alws suk?” and “healplz. heal me. HEAL ME!!!!! I’m right here!!!” and “Healers/tanks/dps suck!” go in one ear and out the other. I’m barely tempted to respond to them anymore, when a couple of years ago I’d probably have read them a lecture, which would help not one bit since most complainers are also terminally monosyllabic.

“Great healing, RandomHealer!” and “GG everyone!” on the other hand — those do stick in my mind. I may not remember exactly who said them (I am heavily name-challenged, even in RL), but I do remember that they were said. Happy shiny comments > rapier like sarcasm, especially when what you think is a rapier is actually a bordering-on-the-mouldy cucumber (bring your own innuendo). I’ve sent people tells during or after scenarios, telling them they did great or thanking them for the healing or whatever it was they did that made them stand out, and in every single case people have responded — usually with surprise, but after that with pleasure. Will R Lee Ermey-style abuse make them better next time? I doubt it. Positive reinforcement, however, is well known to work rather well. I wonder what I can use as a clicker in WAR?

Quick tangent: in one of the Nordenwatch scenarios I played with my WL yesterday, one R1 witch hunter (hi Bluejay of Averheim!) piped up at the beginning to say he was likely to be very confused and dead a lot. Several people told him he’d be okay and that confusion in scenarios (especially at level 1!) is only to be expected. As it turned out, Bluejay was R2 by the end of it and didn’t do half badly.

Couple praise with Orlock’s short but to the point article on aggression in scenarios, and I think we have a winning recipe. Orlock’s post is actually one of those AHA! type reads — something I’d noticed for myself but never really articulated, except to say “Fortune favours the brave” which is all very nice and literary (yay degree!) but far less inspiring than “CHAAAAAAAAAARGE!” Destruction always charge — actually, the rare occasions when they don’t are the ones that almost inevitably end in Order victories… and vice versa.

Regardless of who’s doing the charging, it’s something I’ve observed a lot in WAR: the meek don’t inherit scenarios. The pace of scenarios is too frenetic to allow for much watching from the sidelines, certainly when everyone on a given team does it. Caution and positioning are one thing, but when nobody is willing to charge unto that breach, caution turns to rout.

So — try to say something nice! And then CHARGE!